Facebook Wants To Own The Mobile World

An article on how and why Facebook Wants To Own The Mobile World


Facebook, the world’s largest social network with more than 900 million users doesn’t seem to be focused on the web anymore. If we look back into the first half of 2012 and try to analyze the strategy that Facebook has implemented, we get a clear indication that it is more focused on the mobile world. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to the evangelists of the mobile world since by the end of 2012, the numbers of mobile connect devices will exceed the number of people on earth, says Techcrunch. Besides this, Facebook itself has a population of more than 500 million monthly active users on mobile, with the average time spent by users per month only in US being a staggering 441 minutes. The mobile ad revenue, which was $1.5bn in 2010, is very much expected to grow to @17.6bn by 2015, says Simply Zesty in a recent article. Now considering these numbers, a layman like me who is not smart with numbers, can also see where the future of Facebook is heading to.

Recent acquisitions

Facebook bolstered it’s mobile strategy with a spree of acquisitions, some with media galore and some behind closed doors. Out of all of them, the Instagram buy out was the most debated and the most shocking news for the pundits. Yes the deal had too many zeros for a startup which was merely 2 years old with zero revenue but believe me it was a master stroke. Facebook knew it very well that it has more or less reached the limits on the web and mobile is the road ahead. It also knew very well that it sucked big time in mobile. On the other hand, Instagram was hitting hard on the weak points of Facebook, which already had more than 50 million user base. So the best deal was to offer Instagram a price that it can’t refuse though the deal is still battling with the law in the courts.

In addition to Instagram, Facebook also acquired Glancee, a mobile discover startup. Though the actual figures have not been revealed but the acquiring of Glancee once again clearly indicates that Facebook is also ramping up its focus on mobile lifestyles with the purchase of “social discovery”. In addition to these, Facebook has acquired Karma, Lightbox, Tagtile startups for strengthening its mobile strategy at an undisclosed price. ((Click here to know more)) Last year it also acquired Gowalla, a location-based social network that was launched in 2007. And now the early reports from Mashable says that Face.com could be the latest one to be acquired.

So in a nutshell, it clearly indicates that all the acquiring that has been done, focuses on the mobile world and all in getting a strong hold over the mobile market.

Recent mobile app launches

Besides acquiring mobile startups in the space, Facebook has also concentrated on its mobile feature upgradation. Indeed a smart strategy and the recent featured launch of Facebook Messenger, Camera and Page Manager app, makes the argument stronger.

The recent launch of Facebook Camera, which has been debated hard, and the naming of “Camera” itself have made it viral on the iOS device. The other launches have been criticized for one or more reasons. One of them is – why is Facebook building fragmented apps rather than putting all the brilliant features in one single app. However, keeping aside the entire criticism, one thing that is clearly visible is that Facebook is going to concentrate on mobile-centric acquisitions and building features on it.

And Facebook’s Mobile

Facebook’s Mobile is the hottest selling news right now on the Internet. The ghost of Facebook building it’s own mobile phone is back and this is the third time it has visited. At one side, the news is making waves amongst readers but on the other side pundits are placing their bets that it is a disastrous move. Whatever the forecast may be, but if Facebook is able to introduce a phone or a tablet in the market then it would surely place itself in the driving seat.

Indeed Facebook is a social network but when it is focused on becoming the leader in the mobile world then building it’s own phone makes more sense or is it going to acquire someone here too! And my guess is that this also gives a slight indication about why it is building fragmented apps. Come to think of it – 500 million people who are using Facebook on mobile, wouldn’t they love having a Facebook phone? A phone that has all your social contacts, Facebook Camera to click pictures in the Instagram way, Facebook location-based app like Gowalla and Glancee to start checking in and so on and so forth. So instead of installing another ten apps, wouldn’t you love a simple phone, which will have all the inbuilt features to give you an ultimate social experience? Wouldn’t a Facebook phone like this amuse you, as shared by The Next Web.

facebook samrtphone mockup

Futuristic! But I am sure if there is a phone that comes out like this from Facebook, I am definitely buying it. Not because it is Facebook but because it is resolving my pain points and curating my needs at one place.

So Facebook Mobile is a possibility this time when it is betting so big on mobile. It is just not Facebook that is going after mobile. Google’s recent move of acquiring Motorola indicates that Facebook won’t have an easy ride. But then the popularity Facebook as a social network has, is nowhere close to Google Plus. And if Facebook can ship its 900 million social data in an inbuilt search then that day will equate Internet as Facebook. However, that seems a bit distant dream for Facebook. Right now it is clearly positioned and heading right to the mobile world.

What do you think?

Slider image courtesy: mirolta.com